Trendpost

Outsourcing for boomers: The extended work force is here to stay. Freelancing is expected to grow sharply in the immediate years ahead. Opportunities are ripe for boomers, including writers, artists, information technology experts, market analysts, educators and financial experts. More and more boomers will enter this arena.

Community causes: Community causes that are supported by organized groups, foundations and events have become increasingly sophisticated and larger in scope. In fact, there are a growing number of spin-off businesses that have become important drivers of tourism and sales tax income for municipalities. Having the business, creative or life experience to managing these enterprises, boomers will find satisfaction in forming small businesses or not-for-profit operations that are cause-driven.

Small business retail: Small cities and towns across the globe, in a long-evolving movement to promote locally-made products and services, have created durable niches for local craftspeople. From furniture makers to pottery and jewelry makers, boomers tend to trust “local” products more than other age groups. They highly value quality. And, as such, artists’ co-ops and related organizations are finding it fruitful to form creative coalitions to allow groups of artists and craftsmen to sell handmade products from one location — neighborhoods, renovated old warehouses, indoor/outdoor flea markets, etc. These movements are becoming more sophisticated and are gaining the support of local municipalities — including funding, tax breaks, work space — because they drive income for the community at large. Boomers feed this trend from both ends — as sellers and buyers.

Service/product hot sectors: A 2009 Pew Research Center Study found that aging boomers have their own concept of when old age actually begins — at 72, not 65. This being the case, sustaining a lifestyle that promotes healthy living and slows aging is of paramount importance to them. They are more conscious about the product/service trends that make life more fulfilling in later years. This, too, is a trend that appeals to boomers who are looking to buy the product or service, and who are providers of that product or service. Farm-to-table, health care, green living, senior care services, travel planning and leisure activities for the aging are growth areas.

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